Study in New Zealand | Post-Study Work Visa

You’re probably looking around deciding on your study destination. Post-study work visa plays an important part in most students’ decision making as it allows students to gain that international working experience after completing their overseas education.

The New Zealand Government had recently made changes to their post-study work rights for international students ensuring that post-study pathways will benefit international students and employers. With the changes, international students like you may be granted up to 3 years of post-study work visa depending on your qualification! This is a year longer than other popular study destinations like Australia. Please refer to the table below on the summary of the changes.

 

New Visa Applicants

This table applies if, on 8 August 2018, you did not hold a student visa and you did not have a student visa application accepted for processing by Immigration New Zealand.

If you’re planning to study towards the following qualification(s):And:On successful completion of your qualification(s) you may be eligible for a:
Level 7 Bachelor’s degree qualification or higherYou study that qualification for at least 30 weeks in New ZealandThree-year open post-study work visa
Level 7 Graduate DiplomaYou study that qualification for at least 30 weeks in New ZealandOne-year open post-study work visa, if you study in Auckland, and one additional year if you are working towards registration with a professional or trade body

 

Two-year open post-study work visa, if you study outside Auckland (excluding distance learning) *

Other non-degree Level 7 qualificationYou study that qualification for at least 30 weeks in New ZealandOne-year open post-study work visa, if you study in Auckland

 

Two-year open post-study work visa, if you study outside Auckland (excluding distance learning) *

One qualification at Level 4-6 of a two-year durationYou study that qualification for at least 60 weeks in New ZealandOne-year open post-study work visa, if you study in Auckland

 

Two-year open post-study work visa, if you study outside Auckland (excluding distance learning) *

Two qualifications at Levels 4-6You study each qualification for 30 weeks in New Zealand (60 weeks in total) and the second qualification is at a higher level than the firstOne-year open post-study work visa, if you study in Auckland

 

Two-year open post-study work visa, if you study outside Auckland (excluding distance learning) *

* To qualify for this, you must have successfully completed your qualification(s) by 31 December 2021. If you complete your qualification(s) after that date, you may be eligible for a one-year open post-study work visa, and one additional year if you are a Graduate Diploma graduate and you are working towards registration with a professional or trade body.

From 2022, international students who complete qualifications at Levels 4 to 6, after two years’ study, or non-degree Level 7 qualifications will be eligible for a one-year post-study work visa, and if they have completed a Graduate Diploma that is used for registration with a professional or trade body, an additional one-year post-study work visa.

Students completing Level 7 degree qualifications or above will continue to be eligible for three-year post study work visas.

 

Existing Student Visa Holders

This table applies if, on 8 August 2018, you held a student visa or your student visa application had been accepted for processing by Immigration New Zealand.

If you’re currently studying in New Zealand towards a:And:On successful completion of your qualification(s) from 26 November 2018 you may be eligible for a:
Level 7 Bachelor’s degree or aboveYou study that qualification for at least 30 weeks in New ZealandThree-year open work visa
Non-degree Level 7 qualificationYou study that qualification for at least 30 weeks in New ZealandThree-year open work visa
One qualification at Level 4-6You study that qualification for at least 60 weeks in New ZealandThree-year open work visa
Two qualifications at Levels 4-6You study each qualification for 30 weeks in New Zealand (60 weeks in total) and the second qualification is at a higher level than the firstThree-year open work visa

If you are granted a post-study work visa before 26 November 2018, you will be eligible for: either a one-year open work visa, or a two-year employer-assisted work visa. After 26 November 2018, you may be eligible to have the job and employer stated on your work visa removed, so you do not have to contact Immigration New Zealand if you change jobs or employers in the future.

 

Existing Post-Study Work Visa Holders

The following table applies if you hold a post-study work visa on 8 August 2018, or are granted a post-study work visa when these changes come into effect on 26 November 2018.

If you hold a:Then from 26 November 2018, you may be eligible:
One-year open post-study work visaFor a further two-year open work visa
Two-year employer-assisted post-study work visaTo have the job and employer stated on your work visa removed, so you do not have to contact Immigration New Zealand if you change jobs or employers in the future. If you prefer, you can choose to keep your visa as it is.

 

Who is eligible for post-study work visa?

To be eligible for a post-study work visa, you must have studied in New Zealand and meet the following qualification criteria (according to New Zealand Qualifications Framework):-

Level of studyDuration of course
Level 7 or higher30 weeks or more
Level 4-660 weeks or more
Level 4-6Completed 2 qualifications, each involved 30 weeks of study

 

How long can you work on a post-study work visa?

Depending on your qualification and where you studied, you can work for any employer for between 1 to 3 years and do almost any work. If you wish to work longer than your granted visa period, you can apply for another post-study work visa but only after completing another qualification in New Zealand that is 30 weeks or more, a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree and is at a higher-level qualification than your previous visa.

Can I bring my family along if I am on a work visa?

With some restrictions, most types of work visas allow you to bring along your partner and dependent children. If you are bringing your partner, he/she may apply for an open work visa or a visitor visa. If you are bringing your dependent children, he/she may apply for a visitor visa or a student visa where your children can study fee-free as domestic students. However, do note that both your partner’s and dependent children’s visa will expire at the same time as your work visa.

For more information, please refer to New Zealand Immigration website.

 

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